By Alicia Dziak
Still have to finish off that Christmas shopping list? With a couple short days left, it’s crunch time, but lucky for everyone living in and around Springville, there’s an easy solution: head to Lulu Belle’s.
If you’ve ever stopped into this unique gift shop, you were most certainly warmly welcomed by owner Liesl Neureuther. “I try to treat everyone like family,” she said.
About five years ago, working in the medical field for many years, and commuting to Jamestown for work, Neureuther decided it was time for a change. She recalled being on maternity leave, and discovering that the building at 35 East Main Street was vacant and for sale. “I always loved the building; it was the only free standing one in this section,” she said. She decided to purchase the building.
Neureuther, a graduate of Pioneer, opened the gift shop in April 2012, naming the store after her husband’s nickname for her. She still worked full time, working at the store on Saturdays, while her mother worked at the store. Luckily, her mother was no stranger to the gift shop business.
“When I was growing up, my mom had a gift shop in Franklinville, so I grew up behind a counter,” she explained. “It was always my mom, my grandma and my great grandma there, and now it’s me, my mom and my grandma.”
The trio travel to various gift trade shows each year, to places like New York, Dallas, Atlanta and Las Vegas to bring the most unique items to Springville. One show, she described as having “seventeen floors, each floor the size of the Galleria Mall.”
Today, Lulu Belle’s stocks thousands of very cool gifts you can’t find just anywhere. Among their most popular products are Luca and Danni bangles, Mona B bags, which are made from upcycled Army tents, Lokai bracelets, and Bridgewater candles. Of the selection, Neureuther said she “likes to find items that have a story.”
Personalized signs are also a big seller, and can be ordered and made on-site, so customers can leave with them.
Lulu Belle’s also carries clothing, accessories, handbags and home décor.
The store features a sale section toward the back, and a customer loyalty card that gets punched for each $10 spent; when it fills up, the customer gets $10 off a purchase. Neureuther explained that the cards, like their gift certificates, never expire. “As long as we’re here, we’ll honor them,” she said.
It’s clear that Neureuther loves coming to work every day, being in the heart of the Village, and the flexibility it offers her as a mom of two. “The bus drops my kids off here every day and I’m only 10 minutes from my house,” she said.
“I just enjoy myself every day,” she added with a smile. “Even if people aren’t coming into buy anything, I love talking to everyone.”
She added that, coming from the medical field where people aren’t always that happy to be there, it’s nice to have a job where people like to be in there, and also leave with a smile.
“It was a goal of mine to have cute little bags, so people can do one stop shopping,” she said of the black and pink bags and tissue paper she packages up the purchases in.
If it’s a goal of yours to have a fun, no-pressure shopping experience and find the perfect last minute gift for everyone left on your Christmas list and everyone with January birthdays, all you need to do is head to Lulu Belle’s!
Lulu Belle’s is located at 35 East Main Street in Springville. They are open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., closed Sunday and Monday.
For more info, check them out at www.facebook.com/LuluBellesGifts/, where they’ve been known to run contests for their friends, or call (716) 592-9123.